Andhra Pradesh

Kodela Sivaprasad Rao’s death raises questions

Mystery continues to shroud the death of Kodela Sivaprasad Rao, former Andhra Pradesh minister and Assembly speaker. Questions are being raised over the manner of his death and the nature of emergency medical help that was sought.

1. What was the cause of Rao’s death?

His family members informed the Hyderabad police that he hanged himself in his room at their residence in Hyderabad. But an official confirmation will come only after the post-mortem examination is done at Osmania Hospital mortuary. 

The counter question being asked is whether the Palnadu Puli (the tiger of Palnadu region) as Kodela Sivaprasad Rao was called by his admirers, would take such an extreme step, given that he was known to be a tough politician who had seen several ups and downs in his political career.

There is speculation on the sequence of events in the 24 hours before Rao’s death. What happened inside his residence will now be the subject of investigation.

2. Was he alive when he brought to the hospital?

There were conflicting reports about whether he was still battling for his life or dead when he was brought to the hospital. Initial reports suggested he was rushed to the ICU where doctors tried to revive him. Some other reports said Dr Rao had lost the battle enroute to the hospital.

The hospital’s note said Rao was brought to the hospital at 11:35 am in an “an unresponsive state”. He could not be revived and was declare dead at 12:39 pm. 

3. Why did the family rush him to Basavatarakarama Cancer hospital?

This is a question that most people are asking. Dr Kodela Sivaprasad Rao is a member of the Board of the Indo-American Basavatarakarama Cancer Hospital. But that obviously cannot be a reason why a person who has attempted suicide should be rushed to a cancer hospital. Which is why this angle will need to be investigated. Did the hospital have the right doctors to take care of an emergency case like this given that their specialisation is essentially in the field of oncology.

4. What was Rao’s medical condition after he suffered heart stroke in Guntur last month?

In the last week of August, Rao was admitted to hospital in Guntur after he suffered a heart stroke. He moved to Hyderabad last week to his house in the Telangana capital. Had he recovered completely or was he still in need of medical care, is not known. 

5. What was the effect of the legal cases that had been slapped against Rao and his family members?

Rao has been at the receiving end of the agencies of the Andhra Pradesh government. First there was the embarrassing disclosure over how he as Andhra Pradesh assembly speaker, had diverted furniture, computers and air conditioners to his residence and his son’s showroom in Guntur. The family was also accused of intimidation by people in the district, with Rao being accused of collecting “K-Tax” from people.

Those close to Rao say he was under stress as the party leadership had also maintained a distance, leaving him to get out of the mess himself.  TDP spokesperson Varla Ramaiah had admitted the furniture episode would cause damage to the party.

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